This is a collaborative post.

I have a pretty good and normal relationship with my mum and stepdad but as regular readers of my blog will know my own father died almost 3 years ago and hated me until his death anyway. Between all three of these parents, I have learnt so much about the world of love and dating so thought I would share with you. Maybe you agree and your parents have taught you lots too? There are so many lovely love stories on tv but real life has some too!

All the things I learnt from my parents about the world of love and dating

Don’t stay together for the kids

I grew up in a single-parent household. There were elements of that which were hard but actually in hindsight it was so much better than a life of living with unhappy parents. There, of course, were material things and emotional things I missed out on but this wasn’t because my mum didn’t do her best but because my father didn’t stay involved in my life.

Happiness of children is not based on having two parents in the same building. Of course, if that works then great, but if it doesn’t there is no reason the children won’t be happy!

Why would anyone want their children to be unhappy? I remember before my mum left my dad, I was about 3/4 and I could hear them shouting a lot downstairs and my dad smashed something. It was such a scary feeling as a young child.

a heart made with a ladies hands at sunset with sun shining through the heart

You can find love at any age or stage of life

I guess as a small girl I imagined my mum always being single because princesses marry and live happily ever after, they don’t divorce and meet someone new, do they?

The reality is so many people find love later on in life. My mum met my amazing stepdad when I was 13. He is a little older than my mum so as a teenager this made him “old” in my eyes initially! Actually, though they are a perfect match and don’t have much of an age gap, it was just my teenage self being a little puzzled.

So many people find love dating later on in life whether that be in their 30’s 40’s or 50’s does it really matter? Can you imagine being over 60 dating? If not then hopefully it is because you are happy and can not imagine needing to be dating then. I love seeing older people out on dates, it is nice to see they still believe in finding someone to make them happy.

How my life has been influenced by my parents

I know I learnt from my dad that if people don’t want to be in your life then there is no point trying to make them. He may have been my father but he was a waste of oxygen and my life has been so much better since realising this. My dad knew he was dying but did not want to see or speak to me. That is something I found hard initially. Now I come to realise that this was the best way it could have been. No awkwardness of him pretending to want to know me and he showed his true colours until the end.

As you know I have previously been married but my life with Stuart is so different from that of living with my ex in many ways. My ex was abusive and there were so many things wrong in the relationship. I was lucky that I met Stuart when I did and that he is such an amazing role model to Ben and a great dad too.

That said I know I would have been just fine on my own if necessary too. This reality means I know I do not need Stuart and I am with him because we are happy and I want to be! If things don’t work out at any point I know that we could both find happiness elsewhere if we wanted to.

Two pairs of hands holding a red heart

My advice for Ben

If I can teach Ben one thing in life it is that happiness is important and you should never sacrifice your happiness for anyone. You are good enough to deserve to be happy and your children will always be happier if you are. I would also encourage him to remember that you don’t owe anyone love. If they do not show it to you then you are not obliged to show it to them because you just happen to be related!

Two hands put together to make a heart

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